By Joanne Cook
August 17 2011

My mother-in-law has a photo of my husband, 6-years old, standing proudly by a cow, trying to pull off an authentic farmer look. Knowing the only time he had spent on a farm was in University when he helped his buddy’s family brand cattle, I asked about the photo.

Turns out, it was almost 35 years ago at Butterfield Acres.

That got me thinking. Why haven’t I taken my children there? Since I moved to Calgary in 1994, I have constantly heard of the place. Yet for some reason I never made it there and now I am not sure why.

Tucked away in what used to be the far outskirts of Calgary (but is now solidly the suburbs), Butterfield Acres is a charming, rustic farm filled with animals, livestock, tractor rides, petting zoos, playgrounds, picnic spots and acres and acres of farmland.

Goats at Butterfield Acres

While there, we fed the goats (who LOVED to jump up on me like a dog welcoming me home from a long day; a feat my son thought was hysterical), went on a pony ride, cuddled the bunnies, took a tractor ride, played in an enormous sandbox, ran around the playground, hung out with some sheep, gawked at the biggest pig we’d ever seen, laughed at the emus, tried to copy the calls of the roosters, watched the horses and donkeys and generally had a great time hanging on the farm.Bunnies at Butterfield Acres

Sheep at Butterfield Acres

Pig at Butterfield Acres

My son loved petting the sheep, climbing on an old, authentic tractor and feeding the goats from the seed-filled ice cream cones. I loved watching him interact with the animals and seeing his reaction to creatures he clearly doesn’t encounter every day.

Tractor at Butterfield Acres

Exposing my children to something new and teaching them about the bigger world around them is always my hidden agenda. Being entertained and having a blast is what my son is all about.

At Butterfield Acres, we were all happy. It was a great day spent in a unique (at least for us) environment. It may have taken me a lot of years to get there but I know it won’t take me long to go back.

Sitting on a pony at Butterfield Acres